The first Tesla cars “made in germany” came out of the brand new factory of the American manufacturer near Berlin on Tuesday, under the satisfied gaze of boss Elon Musk who came to inaugurate his first European site.
After two years of construction and administrative adventures, the production, which was initially to start last summer, was officially launched against a backdrop of rock and electro music.
The factory of Grünheidesoutheast of Berlin, is the first “gigafactory” of Tesla, its fourth production site in the world, on which the electric vehicle pioneer is counting to gain market share on the Old Continent.
In a context of exploding fossil fuel prices, Elon Musk praised renewable energies and electric mobility in the service of the climate.
“We believe the world can transition to a sustainable energy future by combining solar power, wind power, battery storage and electric vehicles“said the billionaire.
The eccentric entrepreneur had donned a demure dark suit to attend, alongside the German Chancellor Olaf Scholzwhen the first thirty Tesla Model Ys, 100% electric SUVs, were handed over to their owners with great fanfare.
Eventually, the factory wants to produce 500,000 vehicles each year and a battery factory is to complete the facility, which covers 300 hectares.
Nearly 3,000 people already work on the site, but Tesla promises to “recruit thousands of new employees in the coming months“, to surpass the 12,000 mark.
Electromobility is “one more step away from oil imports“, argued the Minister of Economy and Climate Robert Habeckwhile Germany must accelerate its energy transition to free itself from its dependence on Russian gas.
The opening of the Tesla factory also marks a turning point for the automotive industry in Germany with the arrival in the country of Volkswagen and Mercedes of their main rival in the race for the electric car.
The site has seen many ups and downs, particularly in connection with the examination of the environmental impact of the site and its water consumption.
The construction took place on the basis of provisional permits and the official approval of the regional authorities, essential for the start of production, was only issued at the beginning of March.